By Kate Cryan
Let’s time-travel for a moment. Not into a time with hoverboards or flying cars, but just a few short days or weeks into the future, to the first application deadline.
It’s the day before the application deadline of your teen’s first choice college, and time to click the “Submit” button on the CommonApp. If it had been up to you, this button would have been hit at least a couple of weeks ago, if not before, but, sadly, it *wasn’t* up to you. No; the task lay with your resident high-schooler who, for the last few months, has suffered from a bad case of Senioritis and a dismaying tendency to view Chronic Procrastination as a viable lifestyle choice.
With twenty minutes to go before the CommonApp turns into a pumpkin (or should that be “lemon”?) The Teen mumbles, “I’m still not sure about the last paragraph in the essay. Maybe I should go back in and rewrite it.”
“There’s no time!” you say.
Actually, you don’t say it. You shriek it, and instantly regret this loss of parental composure. In response, The Teen throws a contemptuous glance in your direction and hunches over the laptop a little more. You see the cursor inching toward a button called “Edit.”
You count to ten, and say more calmly (you hope), “I don’t think there’s time to change anything. If you don’t submit your application now, it will be too late.”
“Yeah, but I just need to fix this last paragraph.”
You throw up your hands in frustration and walk into the next room where you practice some deep breathing-slash-hyperventilating. When you return – at CommonApp-Pumpkin minus three minutes – The Teen is still hunched in front of the laptop.
“I hit Submit. But nothing’s happened.”
On the screen is the spinning Beach Ball Of Death, while the overloaded CommonApp system tries to cope with thousands of eleventh-hour applications from procrastinating Seniors all over the world.
And your last lucid thought, as you stifle a scream, the clock strikes twelve, and the laptop, complete with its spinning beach ball, turns into a twelve-pound pumpkin, is:
“Oh! If ONLY I’d sent The Teen to Dr. Yo and got that CommonApp DONE!”